Mahomet recreation using Web for feedback on coaches
MAHOMET – Mahomet's Parks and Recreation Department is using an Internet survey to record feedback – good and bad – about volunteer coaches.
Director Dan Waldinger said the department started offering the online forms on its Web site earlier this year in an effort to pinpoint its best and worst coaches.
"One thing that is useful for us ... is parent feedback. I think that's essential," Waldinger said, and the online form is a convenient way to do so.
The recreation department gathers the confidential information submitted by parents online and watches for an unusual comment made about one coach. Waldinger said he hopes the form will allow parents to be more bold in reporting an inappropriate coach because they aren't required to submit their names.
"A lot of times parents are hesitant to tell us," he said.
If the online forms show a problem with the coach, Waldinger said he'll talk with that person about it or even ask the coach to take the next season off.
"It just makes our program that much better" to know about such issues, he said.
He's also hoping the best coaches will surface. He plans to start a volunteer appreciation night to honor them. Mahomet resident Amy Priest used the survey to write a glowing review of her daughter's soccer coach this fall.
"We wanted to make sure they knew how good he was," Priest said. In other years, Priest filled out paper evaluation forms.
"But it was much easier this year," Priest said. She noticed the link to the evaluation on the recreation department's Web site when she looked up her sons' recreation football information.
The Web survey also saves Waldinger and his staff members valuable time because they field fewer complaints on the phone and don't have to copy off evaluations for every child in every program.
"It's easier for everybody," Waldinger said. "It's kind of a no-brainer."
That lack of paper copies made the evaluation process easier for Stephanie Schnepper, a Mahomet resident with four kids. She doesn't have to worry about the form getting lost in the shuffle or forgotten on her car's visor.
Schnepper used the forms for praising a coach one of her children enjoyed and voicing concern with another. Her comments will be recognized, Schnepper believes, which she likes.
"It's a good way to be heard," she said.